Former president Joyce Banda who is scheduled to return this Saturday from self-imposed exile will clarify whether her People’s Party (PP) is entering into an alliance with the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) with speculations that her coming is after she sought immunity from President Peterr Mutharika that she should not be arrested on her return.
DPP already has a working relationship in Parliament with United Democratic Front (UDF) whose president, Atupele Muluzi, was drafted into Mutharika’s Cabinet in 2004.
There has been talk that DPP together with UDF and PP will forge a grand electoral alliance for 2019 elections to lock out southern region from Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
PP, whose two-year stint in government ended following its loss in the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections, had been divided following the initial meeting between the DPP leadership, including President Mutharika, and PP legislators in November last year.
Banda’s son, Roy Kachale, who is also MP for Zomba Malosa and PP Vice President is reportedly to have pleaded with President Mutharika to give amnesty to the former president from arrest in return for her support and alliance deal.
But PP spokesman Noah Chimpeni has rejected the alliance talk, saying the party could not endorse such a relationship.
“There is nothing like an alliance with the DPP,” said Chimpeni.
He stressed that PP will remain “an independent party.”
According to Chimpeni, PP-DPP alliance talk are “rumors and will remain rumors.”
PP members are waiting for its founder fondly known as JB to clarify the position with the ruling party on her hyped return.
The members expect her to strengthen the party as the country heads to polls next year.
Banda’s spokesperson Andekuche Chanthunya, who on Monday announced JB’s decision to return home, said the former president can still run for office in 2019.
Things have been falling apart for the erstwhile ruling party since losing the May 20 2014 Tripartite Elections and commentators have said the situation is being aggravated with the absence of the party leader.
Banda established PP after her expulsion from DPP in December 2010 alongside Khumbo Kachali for protesting a succession plan to have Peter Mutharika as Bingu wa Mutharika’s successor. She served as the country’s Vice-President and ascended to the presidency in April 2012 in line with constitutional order after Bingu’s death.
PP was born from a group initially called Friends of Joyce Banda at the time she was systematically detached from the government system.
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